Justice Department Settles with Rite Aid of Michigan Over Alleged HIV Discrimination

Content From: Department of Justice Office of Public AffairsPublished: February 14, 20142 min read


The Justice Department announced today that, as part of its Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative, it has reached a settlement with Rite Aid of Michigan to resolve claims that Rite Aid violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The department found that a Rite Aid store pharmacist in Okemos, Mich., discriminated against a customer with HIV by refusing to administer a flu shot to the customer. Although the pharmacist had access to surgical gloves, she told the customer that she needed “special gloves” to administer a flu shot to him, and that he should return after the store had ordered the gloves.

“Erecting unfair and discriminatory barriers to medical care for people with HIV is unacceptable,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The ADA prohibits these types of barriers, and the Justice Department will fight to tear them down.”

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Rite Aid of Michigan must pay $10,000 to the customer and $5,000 in civil penalties. In addition, Rite Aid must train its staff on the requirements of the ADA and implement an anti-discrimination policy.

Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations such as Rite Aid of Michigan from excluding people with disabilities, including people with HIV, from enjoying goods, services, privileges, facilities, advantages and accommodations provided. For more information regarding the department’s efforts to combat HIV discrimination, please visit www.ada.gov/hiv/ada_hiv_enforcement.htm. To learn more about the obligations of public accommodations under federal disability rights statutes, call the department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301, 800-514-0383 (TTY) or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.